Cheetahs in Botswana – a letter from the project leader

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The cheetah is Africa’s most threatened large cat. Over the past century, the world’s cheetah population has declined by 90%. There are now only 7000 cheetahs left in Africa. Their future lies in the hands of the farmers with which they share the land. Cheetah Conservation Botswana aims to conserve Botswana’s important cheetah population through scientific research, community outreach and education, working in collaboration with communities, government and relevant stakeholders to promote coexistence with Botswana’s rich diversity of carnivore species. Rebecca Klein writes to us with good news from the field!

Dear PTES,

All is going well! We have had an exciting first few months of 2019. We were able to save two cheetahs from farmers wanting to remove them from their farms. Late in January we received a call from a farmer who had caught a young cheetah in a trap that he had set for a problem leopard, which had been eating the livestock on his farm. The fact that he called us rather than just shooting it was a miracle in itself as this particular farmer has never been tolerant despite all our efforts. This time we rushed to the scene and were able to convince him to release the young cheetah back on the farm so it could rejoin its family, as it was unlikely to survive alone if relocated. We were amazed that he agreed!

Another farmer insisted we relocate a cheetah he had caught on his farm in December, so along with the Wildlife Department we had no choice but to agree and she was relocated to the nearest protected areas and collared to monitor her movements. At least it was better than being shot. However, as often happens the cheetah returned. We had named her Alida after the farmer’s daughter and informed him of her movements. In a wonderful twist they became fascinated in her journey and saw that she was not causing problems on the farm once she returned. Now they are proud of having Alida in their area. This is a wonderful testimony to our efforts over the last decade in slowly changing attitudes towards these magnificent cats. The fact that two farmers who have always been intolerant are now working with us is a joy to us all!

Another endorsement of our work has come from Disney Conservation Fund. 13 inspiring people were crowned Disney Conservation Heroes for their outstanding work conserving wildlife. We are very proud that three of those 13 are CCB staff members Morulaganyi Kokole, Phale (Max) Seele and Connie (King) Modise. The Farming for Conservation team  has worked hard for these accolades. They run our livestock guarding dog training and placement program, train hundreds of farmers annually in livestock management practices, oversee our farmers’ networks and demonstration farms, attend conflict reports and overall promote the message of coexistence through the Western Kalahari.

Your contributions to our efforts are helping to make these achievements possible and we could not do it without you! Thank you so much for your support.

Best wishes and many thanks!

Rebecca, Cheetah Conservation Botswana

Rebecca Klein is our project leader for Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB). She is the co-founder and longest standing member at CBB. CBB aims to preserve the nation’s cheetah population through scientific researchcommunity outreach and conservation education, working with rural communities to promote coexistence with Botswana’s rich diversity of carnivore species. We at PTES would like to that all our incredible donors and supporters that make projects like this possible. Thank you.

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